April 5, 2012
Magic Johnson Enterprises has partnered with Simply Healthcare Plans (SHP) to launch the Clear Health Alliance (CHA) plan for Floridians with HIV/AIDS, the companies announced Tuesday.
CHA will be a subsidiary of the Miami-based SHP made available through Medicaid. The program will debut in Miami-Dade and be extended throughout Florida; it takes advantage of a bill signed last week by Gov. Rick Scott.
The Florida Legislature has been a longtime proponent of placing patients into privately managed care to better control costs. A bill lawmakers passed in 2011 permits the creation of special Medicaid plans for HIV-positive patients in South Florida. To contain costs, the bill requires all HIV-positive Floridians on Medicaid to enroll in special health maintenance organizations.
SHP Chair Miguel Fernandez said he and Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the HIV-positive former basketball star-turned AIDS advocate and successful entrepreneur, envisioned a "high-touch, high-care program" inclusive of transportation services and nutritional education to supply a "more holistic approach than we have ever done."
Johnson is hopeful the partnership will forge "health care programs focused on the needs of individuals in underserved communities," according to a prepared statement. The duo plans to take the concept nationwide, partly through clinics, a model of health care delivery popular in Miami-Dade through other SHP companies and the Leon Medical Centers.
In expanding the model, Fernandez said his goal is "targeting the inner city of low-income Hispanics and African Americans" who have historically "not participated in managed care."
"This could not have been done without the governor's office and the Agency for Health Care Administration," Fernandez continued. "They saw the value and supported our ideas."